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Lower Medical Claims Costs Linked to Payer's Dental Program

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, October 23, 2013

HLM: What challenges has the DMI program faced?

Conicella: When we first started the program, getting the medical team at Aetna, and physicians in general, on board was a bit of a challenge. I think dentists embraced it right away because of the research coming out in dental journals.

Physicians weren't reading about the connections. Now our chief medical officer at Aetna and the medical directors I work with have embraced the program and embraced the opportunities for integration.

I would say the main challenge now is how to motivate that segment of the population that despite our outreach, doesn't make a dental appointment. We're very happy with the success we have achieved, but we would love to find a way to motivate the rest of the members to start going to the dentist.


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "Lower Medical Claims Costs Linked to Payer's Dental Program"


Keaven Wright,RN,MSN,CRRN (10/30/2013 at 11:47 AM)
It is amazing to me that insurance companies haven't picked up on this before. of course a person with good dental health is going to be healthier than some one who does not. If a person can't chew healthy fresh fruits and vegetables the only option left is overcooked mushy ones and that leads to poor nutrition, high blood sugar , wight gain, high cholesterol and general malnutrition and poorer overall health. It is cheaper to stay healthy than it is to be sick ~!!! good dental health is one of the most important foundations to good health. neglect your teeth at your peril. Sometimes Insurance companies are penny wise and pound foolish!!!!! If Premiums for Insurance don't cover dental health care and check ups then often the cost is so much more over the long term.